REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 19, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. Matt. 1:24
Joseph whom we celebrate his solemnity today is the Patron of the Universal Church, Patron of the unborn child, Patron Saint of fathers, Patron Saint of workers and carpenters, Patron Saint of travelers, Patron Saint of migrants and Patron Saint of the dying and of a happy death. As the spouse of the Virgin Mary, Joseph played a unique role in God’s plan of salvation.
What is it that made Saint Joseph so great? He wasn’t immaculately conceived as our Blessed Mother was. He was not divine like Jesus. But he was the head of the Holy Family, its guardian and its provider. He became the legal father of the Savior of the World and the spouse of the Mother of God. Joseph is not great only because he was given such incredible privileges. He was great because of the choices he made in life. So, his greatness is primarily on account of his moral righteousness and obedience to the will of God.
Our gospel reference today speaks of Joseph’s obedience to the voice of God given to him in the dream. Joseph is noted to have had four dreams in which God spoke to him and he did what he was told. (Matt. 1:20-21; 2:13; 2:20; & 2:22). When these dreams are read in succession, it is clear that Saint Joseph was attentive to the voice of God. We all have dreams, but Joseph’s dreams were different. They were clear communications from God, and they required a willing recipient. Joseph was open to the voice of God and listened in faith as that willing recipient.
Joseph also responded with complete submission and full determination. The commands Joseph received were not insignificant. His obedience required that he and his family travel great distances, take up residence in strange lands, and do so all-in faith.
Joseph took his vocation seriously. It can be said simply that Joseph just did what he was told, but that takes a lot of faith and courage, as well as letting go of one’s personal plans and accepting God’s will. Like Joseph let us remember that God’s plan will not take us to where His grace will not accompany us.
Reflect, today, upon the unique vocation of Joseph. Ponder, especially, the early years of his marriage and the raising of Jesus. Consider his fatherly commitment to care for, provide for and protect his Son. We all must seek to imitate Joseph’s virtues by protecting the presence of Christ within our own hearts, the hearts of our family and friends and in the world as a whole. Pray to St. Joseph, asking him to help you follow his example so that the hidden presence of our Lord in our lives will grow and come to full maturation.
Loving Lord, I thank you for my unique vocation, give me the grace like St. Joseph to listen attentively to your voice each day and the wisdom to obey all you request from me. Help me dear Lord to seek you with a sincere heart knowing that it will profit me nothing if I gain the whole world yet lose my soul. So, help me to see Your good and gracious purpose in all my trials. help me to see your blessing in every day and help me to love You more. Jesus, I trust in You.